How to grow your Instagram followers the “organic way”
Social media plays a great part in growing your brand digitally, especially if you are new and taking baby steps in promoting your brand.
Of course almost every brand has a Facebook page, but what about an Instagram account?
According to Instagram, 80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram. And there are over 500 million Instagram accounts that are active on a daily basis. Imagine how many users your brand can reach out to via this social media platform?
So how do you reach out to these users via your Instagram account?
Here are a few things to observe:
Make sure your content on your Instagram is consistent, or tells a story or your brand. There are a few way you can make your content work. Because Instagram is a photo-based social media platform, what your followers first see when they visit your Instagram account are the photos on your account. So be sure that your Instagram page is aesthetically attractive and interesting.
Say you’re running a travel agency, and you want to gain more followers on your Instagram. Your Instagram account should be filled with pictures of breathtaking images of to attract these wanderlust followers.
If your brand is selling designer goods, bombard the page with all the pretty designer clothes and bags and shoes.
Make your content as relatable to your brand as possible, you catch the drift.
Source: Instagram @oreo
Make your feed aesthetic
Once you have your content ready, it’s time to prosecute them in the best way you can.
Creating content may be easy, but making the content look beautiful and aesthetic as a whole is a challenge.
You can start by going with a theme.
If your brand has a primary color, make use of it as your primary colors in your theme. A few common colors that are bound to attract the eyes are red, yellow and blue.
Bear in mind; different themes attract different followers. Hence, a black and white feed will attract followers who are into artistic and dark mood themes.
If you’re planning on using filters on your pictures, make sure your filters are always consistent.
This will create an automatic theme for your brand and followers like consistency and uniformity in a feed.
A theme can easily attract the attention of a user if it’s so aesthetically presented that the user will not hesitate to hit the “Follow” button.
So before you start posting your content, make sure you plan your theme colors, filters and also mood before you start.
Strong hashtag game
10 years ago when you see #, you call it the “pound button” on your phone dial screen. Show this symbol to the kids now and they’ll laugh at you for calling it the “pound button”.
The hashtag was introduced and used back in August 2007 by Chris Messina, a techie from San Francisco and a former Google developer, on Twitter.
Read about the “origins of hashtag” here.
Now hashtag is so heavily used in all social media platforms.
Why is a hashtag so important?
A hashtag is used by social media users to search for a specific event or topic or category in the social media world.
The importance of including hashtags is significant as it brings your post out to the public and everyone searching for that specific hashtag will see your post. The likeliness of them clicking into your picture is higher if they found your picture attractive and interesting, which also leads to them clicking into your Instagram account.
Here are some hashtags that you can use, categorized according to the relevance of your Instagram posts.
You can go up to 30 hashtags per post to maximize the capability of the hashtag game, however, is 30 hashtags per post necessary? Some will say that it will bring down the credibility of your post, or even, making you look spammy and amateur. Instead, use about 5-11 hashtags per post, and make sure they’re relevant and match your brand and pictures.
However, you should create your own brand hashtag so that it is specifically for your brand.
Your brand hashtag does not necessarily be just a one-word hashtag. Play around and create a phrase of your own!
Promote your Instagram on other platforms
If you already have a bunch of followers on your Facebook or Twitter or any other social media platforms, you can post a shoutout there and ask your followers to follow you on your Instagram account too.
Add your Instagram handle on your profiles and even on email signatures.
If you already have a website, add a widget to your website with your Instagram live feed and a clear “Follow” button for the ease of your new followers.
Get boosted help from KOL or influencers
Key opinion leaders aka KOL and social media influencers are the experts in product knowledge and has influence in the social media world. These influencers usually have a big scale of followers who they can sell a product to and easily get their attention.
Collaborate with influencers especially if your brand is new and needs to get some attention.
KOLs and influencers can be a vast of variety, ranging from superstar celebrities or just someone with a lot of followers on their Instagram.
When working with KOLs, not all have the same style or price package. You can engage with a local influencer with not as much followers who will contribute a post on their Instagram for free, given that you send them your brand products for them to review. Some might charge you a hefty amount but will be able to provide higher ROI to your brand. It all comes down to your budget and whichever you are comfortable with.
Just make sure you discuss with the influencers on what you are expecting from their posts and what is the target you’re trying to achieve, and they will be able to give you some ideas and feedback.
There are plenty of ways to boost your organic followers. So here’s the breakdown of what we’ve learned:
- Interesting content
- Consistent visuals/filters
- Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags (but not too many)
- Get promoted by KOL and influencers
It takes time to build a massive amount of followers, so just be patient and start off by inviting your friends and family to start following your page, and get them to invite their friends.
GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. The export of personal data outside of the EU is protected in this regulation.
The GDPR was approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016 and has been enforced on 25 May 2018. It is also to replace the Data Protection Directive 95/46/ec.
Why is GDPR designed? It is to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe and most importantly to protect the EU citizens data privacy and information.
What is classed as sensitive data and information in this matter? It includes information of a person’s name, age, race, ethnicity, political opinions, religious beliefs, sex and gender, age, physical and mental health, criminal records and so forth. Web data includes information such as IP address, location, web browser, cookie datas and RFID tags.
Does this regulation affect my company or business? If your company collects, stores and processes personal information of EU Citizens, you are required to comply. If your company checks on any of these criteria, you are required to comply:
- Company in the EU country
- Not a company in the EU, but handles and processes data of EU citizens
- Company with more than 250 employees
- Company with less than 250 employees, but its data-processing impacts the rights and freedoms of data subjects, is not occasional, or includes certain types of sensitive personal data.
What can my company do to be in compliance with this regulation?
First of all, how big is your company? If it’s less than 250 employees, you do not have to comply to all GDPR rules. You do not have to document why personal data is being collected and processed, the information you’re storing or how long for. Smaller companies are not required to maintain a record of processing activities.
- Educate your employees who are somewhat involved in processing the data and personal information. This includes staff that does the data entry of an EU client’s personal data into your company’s system.
- Use tools that will ensure privacy. Check with your IT staff to ensure that the tools you’re using in your company are 100% safe and the best to work with.
- Review your company’s IT systems and procedures to check if they’re up to date and comply with the GDPR requirements for privacy, and to ensure that your company only processes necessary minimum personal data.
- Hire a DPO (Data Protection Officer), however it is not necessary, especially for smaller companies.
Are you GDPR compliant? GDPR requires all companies to comply by May 25 2018, otherwise you’ll face with fines and penalties up to €20 million. So get your company and employees prepared for GDPR if you haven’t already complied to this regulation.